"Oh, it's really going to snow!" May exclaimed.
Now they could see the wreaths of holly and red ribbons
in the windows of the house, and the big one hung on the
white door. Smoke stood up from the big chimneys. The
house, which from a distance had appeared blank and severe,
now seemed to promise, in contrast with the slowly descend-
ing snow and the empty fields and the grey sky, and to
promise abundantly, everything that could make for happi-
ness and peace—steaming and delicately odorous food, the
gleam of firelight on the silver, the soft sinking of the foot
into the deep-piled rug, the musical clink of glasses.
" How good of you to come," Senator Tolliver said, when
he took May's hand and leaned slightly over it as though he
might kiss it, if he dared. " Mr. Christian has brought his
daughter, they're going to stay all night too, and we'll try to
liven up this dull old house a little tonight with some youth
and beauty. And I must say this house gets dull enough
some days. But now I'll turn you over to my sister." And
indicating the tall, black-clothed woman who came from the
room behind him, he went on, "Matilda, this is May, the
wife of my good friend Percy Munn I've told you so much
about." He stretched out his hand paternally and laid it on Mr,
Mimn's shoulder. " The coming boy," he declared, and patted
Mr. Munn's shoulder, " We'll have him in Congress yet."
" I don't know about that," Mr. Munn said, a little em-
barrassed, but pleased by the words and by the hand on his
shoulder. Here in the white-panelled hall, after the sullen sky
and the empty land, were warmth and kindliness, the glitter
of mirrors, and the sound of fire crackling in a farther room.
Even the face of Matilda seemed, as Mr. Munn took her hand,
to be less distant and rigid than he had at first believed.
May went up the wide stairs beside the older woman,
appearing smaller than ever beside her bony height. At the
turn in the stairs, May looked backward fleetingly over her
shoulder and gave a quick, almost shy smile, which Mr.
MUBO took for a good-bye. Then with the Senator he walked
across the hall and the length of a long room, where a fire